Carlos Augusto Alves Santana
Born June 20, 1947 (1947-18-20) (age 60)Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico with two brothers and four sisters and a father who was a mariachi violinist. Carlos began playing the violin at five years of age, occasionally performing with his father's mariachi orchestra. When his family moved to Tijuana when he was nine, he became interested in the guitar, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and blues music and soon was For influence of the guitarist and teacher of the Mexican rock Javier Batiz & TJs band performing in bands in the Tijuana area. When his family emmigrated to San Francisco, California, thirteen year old Carlos refused to leave, preferring his independence as a working musician. After being convinced to stay in San Francisco with his family, he graduated from Mission High School in 1965 Santana helped the family out by working as a dishwasher and grew to enjoy the San Francisco music scene, often sneaking into music promoter Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium to listen to his favorite musical artists, including Muddy Waters, and The Grateful Dead.
Santana was signed to CBS Records, and went into the studio to record their first album. They were not satisfied with the results, and realized changes needed to be made. This resulted in the dismissal of Livingston. Santana replaced him with Mike Shreive, who had a strong background in both jazz and rock. Marcus Malone was forced to quit the band due to personal problems and the band re-enlisted Michael Carabello. Carabello brought with him percussionist José Chepito Areas, who was already well known in his country, Nicaragua, and with his skills and professional experience, was a major contributor to the band
Bill Graham, who had been a fan of the band from the start, convinced the promoters of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival to let them appear before their first album was even released. They were one of the surprises of the festival; their set was legendary, and later the exposure of their eleven-minute instrumental "Soul Sacrifice" in the Woodstock film and IJIIsoundtrack albums vastly increased Santana's popularity. Graham also gave the band some key advice to record the Willie Bobo song "Evil Ways", as he felt it would get them radio airplay. Their first album, simply titled Santana, became a huge hit, reaching number four on the U.S. album charts, and the catchy single "Evil Ways" reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
More radio-oriented singles followed from Santana the band. "Winning" in 1981 and "Hold On" ( a remake of Canadian artist Ian Thomas's song) in 1982 both reached the top twenty. After his break with Sri Chinmoy, Santana went into the studio to record another solo album with Keith Olson and legendary R&B producer Jerry Wexler. The 1983 album revisited Santana's early musical experiences in Tijuana with Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" and the title cut, Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon". The album's guests included Booker T. Jones, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Willie Nelson and even Santana's father's mariachi orchestra. Santana again paid tribute to his early rock roots by doing the film score to La Bamba, which was based on the tragically short life of rock and roll legend Richie Valens and starred Lou Diamond Phillips.
Although the band had concentrated on trying to produce albums with commercial appeal during the 1980s, changing tastes in popular culture began to reflect in the band's sagging record sales of their latest effort Beyond Appearances. In 1985, Bill Graham had to once again pull strings for Santana to convince principal Live Aid concert organizer Bob Geldof to allow the band to appear at the festival. The group's high energy performance proved why they were still a top concert draw the world over despite their poor performance on the charts. Personally, Santana retained a great deal of respect in both jazz and rock circles, with Prince and guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica citing him as an influence.
In 2002, Santana released Shaman, revisiting the Supernatural format of guest artists including P.O.D. and Seal. Although the album was not the runaway success its predecessor had been, it produced two radio-friendly hits. "The Game of Love" featuring Michelle Branch, rose to number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent many weeks at the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and "Why Don't You & I" written by and featuring Chad Kroeger from the group Nickelback (the original and a remix with Alex Band from the group The Calling were combined towards chart performance) which reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. "The Game of Love" went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
In August 2003, Santana was named fifteenth on Rolling Stone magazine's "List of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". In 2004, the magazine ranked him #90 on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Artists of All Time.
In 2005, Herbie Hancock approached Santana to collaborate on an album again using the Supernatural formula. Possibilities was released on August 30, 2005, featuring Carlos Santana and Angélique Kidjo on "Safiatou".
Santana's 2005 album All That I Am consisting primarily of collaborations with other artists; the first single, the peppy "I'm Feeling You", was again with Michelle Branch and The Wreckers. Other musicians joining the mix this time included Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Kirk Hammett from Metallica, hip-hop/reggae star Sean Paul and R&B singer Joss Stone. In April and May 2006 Santana toured Europe where he promoted his son Salvador Santana's band as his opening act.
In 2007, Santana appeared, along with Sheila E. and Jose Feliciano, on Gloria Estefan's album 90 Millas, on the single "No Llores". He also teamed again with Chad Kroeger for the catchy single "Into the Night." 2007 proved to be a difficult year personally: On October 19, his wife of 34 years, Deborah, filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences".